In answer to the points you have raised:
1. The ICE trains have now been certified for the Tunnel. The reason I provided the link to our December 17 news story was to show what DB’s plans were for its trains and the problems it had faced in getting the trainsets approved.
2. There are five different versions of the ICE train. The ICE train first appeared in 1991 and the earliest versions (ICE1 and ICE2) are permitted to operate between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The later version, ICE3, can operate between Germany, France, Holland and Belgium.
3. Although the ICEs serve Switzerland they do not run through the Alpine tunnels. They serve Basle and Zurich. I believe they don’t run any further into Switzerland than Interlaken.
3. An updated version of ICE3 is being built for Tunnel use. I believe it will also have the flexibility to operate over more networks than do existing ICE trainsets.
4. The main requirements for passenger trains to use the Tunnel (besides the power supply and signalling systems) are safety and evacuation procedures. The new batch of ICE trains must incorporate all these features.
See ‘Platform’ in our forthcoming July/August issue for details of Channel Tunnel train operation.